Blog Entry

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:31 am
 
By Matt Norlander

Rick Pitino's capability for a good quote has too often gone overlooked. Thankfully, in the doldrums of June, college basketball's second-worst month of the year (only August is worse), Pitino has delivered some fighting words. Words that will have some lasting impact by the time Kentucky and Louisville play each other around New Year's Eve.

And the words aren't even directed at Kentucky -- they're a shot at the SEC. The Louisville coach sent a verbal barb flying Wednesday in the direction of the conference, a clear response to something John Calipari said last week.

After the SEC ditched its two-division format, opting to have one league with 12 teams, giving the league a better chance at more NCAA tournament teams, Cal said, "This is no knock on the Big East but they’ve had 19 teams in the tournament the last two years and how many have made it by the first round? How is this happening? When they start playing each other they say the 11th team is really good. What? We have to figure out how you play the best schedule you can play and still win. That’s different for all of us. I think that’s more important than 16 or 18 (conference) games." 

Card Chronicle also brings up the fact Calipari, in March, said the Big East is a product of "media hype." So Pitino, the former Kentucky coach who led them to a title in '96, clearly knew what he was doing when he said this:

The coach jabbed back just a bit tonight at a Cardinal Caravan event in Shelbyville. When introducing his son, Richard, to the crowd, he said:

"(Richard) went away for a couple of years to learn how to do things in a second-rate league, then get back to the big time."

Richard Pitino spent the past two seasons in the SEC as an assistant under Billy Donovan, a Pitino disciple. It's as much a playful jab as it is an under-the-surface shot. And a truthful one. The Big East has been a better league than the SEC for most of its existence. Undeniable. And Kentucky, you'll remember, saw its 2011 season end in the Final Four at the hands of Connecticut, a Big East team.

Photo: AP
Comments

Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: June 16, 2011 3:19 pm
 

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

So who you got


I will be flying SU's flag all year. 
Riley was one I was really counting on to secure the middle of the zone.  Today I find he is transfering.  

This year, many teams are returning and picking up good smart ball players. 

UK keeping Jones and Miller with an incoming class including Gilchrist, Teague and Davis.  I already forgot about Wall and Knight. 

UNC keeping Barnes, Hensen and Zeller, bring in McAdoo.

OH St...returning Sullinger.  pffftttt.....If he stays healty....they must be recond with.

Duke...with Coach K...they are always a problem and he don't even get to play.  But they do get to play like the whole Pumlee family and along with Curry, Dawkins and Rivers.

Memphis...Barton, Jackson and Witherspoon...I would expect them to play more like a team this year.

A lot in the SEC bother me.  Vanderbilt returns everyone.  Alabama got snubbed and almost won the NIT and are returning solid players.  Florida will be very good. 

And even without Riley, SU will have to be dealt with.  Joseph was supposed to break out last year and got just to the edge but not over the top.  This could be his year.  Keita 7-0....is a good ball player.  Scoop and Triche are both going to a few high profile events this summer.  That is going to help their ball skills.  I am not sure who the fifth player will be, but there are a couple from the bench last year that will step up.  SU has Christmas 6-10 C/PF coming in supposed to be college ball ready.  But so was Melo.  I almost didn't bring up the crazy brazilian wiper snapper.  If the staff can get his head on right, he may become that guy yet.  I say SU wins it all.  But I always think they will.

Also from the BE, UConn of course.  Napiier will take over handling the ball.  Jeremy Lamb will be Big East Player of the year and their center Oki%$^&  whatever his name is is a beast in the middle.  Even without Walker, UConn will be very good.  I think Jeremy Lamb is real gamer. 

I haven't looked the B10 and 12 over well yet.  I haven't seen Purdue being listed as someone, but isn't Hummel back?  I know he has been labled injury prone, but he stated this year the knee feels much better than after the first surgery.  If he stays healthy, they will be a good team.  The P10....I don't know AZ?  With east coast ball looking like this...it's kind of hard to really get behind their teams.  KU will be a problem as always.  Texas too.  I like what SDSU is returning and they picked up two really good transfers.  And look out for the Zags this year.  They lost no-one important.  They kept Harris, Carter and Stockton.  They surprised me in the tournament....and they get them all back.   

I can't wait to see it play out live. 



Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: June 16, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Next season is gonna be a great year men.   I don't care what conference your in.   



So who you got jonvi? I'm thinking UNC is gonna be a tough out come tournament time and probably the odds on favorite to win it all. UK will be in the hunt again. Syracuse is loaded. Vanderbilt looks legit and go ahead and pencil in Florida with Beal. Ohio St. with Sullinger back will be formidable for anybody....woieville has two teams this year....not sure about the talent level without hairbrush I mean Knowles to handle the big games when they get down but they should be fun to watch anyway at least from a distance at the Cleveland clinc....And Memphis has the talent to compete now lets see if Pastner can deliver on the coaching part.....Kansas is probably set to have a down year even though the Big 12 title always seems to go through Lawrence I suspect maybe Texas might steal one this year. And Duke is always tough regardless of who leaves or stays.



Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: June 16, 2011 11:15 am
 

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Next season is gonna be a great year men.   I don't care what conference your in.   


I'm excited about it.  I can't wait to see some of these new guys in action especially "The Brow", Rivers, Memphis's own Thomas.  Also it will be interesting to see if the stud freshmen from last year that stuck around take another step forward. 



Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: June 16, 2011 11:05 am
 

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

You just lost a 7' tall big man because he wasn't happy, your other big man will be watching games from cell block B of the New York St. Peneteniary next year, and your 95 yr old coach will be falling asleep courtside.

lol....wait...ouch.  Yell

And B2 makes an appearance too.  Returning about everyone....Memphis pride still proud.  lil Josh....you just wanna hug em up.  

Next season is gonna be a great year men.   I don't care what conference your in.   



Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: June 16, 2011 11:04 am
 

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league


I was wondering about you B2. Why you hadn't chimed in yet or were you hiding
hahaha.  Well I was stalking you and now here I am. 



Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: June 16, 2011 10:49 am
 

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Who's gonna beat Wouiville by more Memphis or Kensucky?  I think Memphis by 15. 


I was wondering about you B2. Why you hadn't chimed in yet or were you hiding at but I'm not putting any money on who beats UL by the most points.....Even though they have to come to Rupp this year it's still a hate game. And Memphis has to travel to the Eat More Chikin bucket....But I will say go Wildcats and go Tigers!!!! My two favorite teams. Kentucky and whoever beats the shet out of UL.



Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: June 16, 2011 10:38 am
 

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Kentucky's going to stomp the sheit out of EVERYONE next year. Mark it down.....


Kensucky freshmen can't beat the best JUCO team in the land the Memphis tigers!!!! 

Memphis sophmores > Kensucky Freshmen

Who's gonna beat Wouiville by more Memphis or Kensucky?  I think Memphis by 15. 



Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: June 16, 2011 10:33 am
 

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

I thought SEC was short for second?  You know....Be back in a sec.  What's the fuss?

Ah...it don't matter....

SU's gonna kick all ya'll's azzez.  68...can I have a double astrick in cbb?  (ya'll's)  They get em in the pro's don't they?  And there I go again....hard to stay on subject.

SU's gonna put the beat down on all the nation....big east, SEC, ACC.....Duck Fuke!  And UNC too.  It don't matter cause SU don't care who day bitz slapp.


Whoday?  Don't care. 

Jonvi, you have OBVIOUSLY been sippin the Caintucky cider a bit too early this morning. Syrasuck ain't gonna win sheit next year, except maybe the NIT!! You just lost a 7' tall big man because he wasn't happy, your other big man will be watching games from cell block B of the New York St. Peneteniary next year, and your 95 yr old coach will be falling asleep courtside. Kentucky's going to stomp the sheit out of EVERYONE next year. Mark it down.....



Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: June 16, 2011 10:16 am
 

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Pretty sure that I can speak for UKfan68 here.....you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. I GUARANTEE that he never even wanted Slick Rick as coach of Kentucky. He has stated this many times. Personally, I was glad UK hired him, considering he was UK's 5th choice (that is FACT....look it up....PJ Carlisimo was offered before the Slickster was.). But, after meeting him in 1997, and seeing what a COLD HEARTED BASTARD he was, I was EXTREMELY happy that he left.

You're absolutely right. I never wanted him in the first place. To be honest and not to open up a whole new can of worms but at the time I was happy with Eddie Sutton. And I still feel to this day Eddie was setup and done wrong. And I probably always will. Eddie Sutton had his issues and his demons(alcohol) but as a person he was sincere and loved Kentucky and BBN. As a coach the man has forgotten more about the game of basketball from an X's and O's standpoint than Rick and Tubby put together will ever know.

Sutton once stated when asked about his decision to take the Kentucky job that he would've crawled from Little Rock to Lexington to take the job if he'd had to. And the man gave up his dream job when he left, and begged the NCAA for leniency for the fans sake.

When it all shook out though my first choice was Pat Riley. Some will probably scoff or laugh at that but at one time he wanted the job. I'm not sure on the time line but it was either after Rupp retired or Joe B. announced he was retiring that he expressed interest in the job and actually would've taken it. Think about that for a second. Mr. Armani himself and who lil ricky molded himself after to begin with.

My second choice at that time was Dan Issel. Not the coach Riley is/was but definitely bled blue and would've put everything he had into it. And as much as I like Calipari the thing is he's not going to stay forever. Best case I'd say another eight years and he'll be done. UK will have to hire someone that has a passion for it like Travis Ford or John Pelphrey to get someone that will stay more than ten years. Maybe they'll be ready to take over when Cal retires. Personally, I'd love to see Pelphrey get a shot since we grew up in the same area and I have a good idea how he feels about UK stomping up and down the sidelines with that temper of his.



Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: June 16, 2011 10:04 am
 

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Oh....btw...that reading was a lot of fun.  Please continue.



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